How to Expand Your Reach in Social Media When You Have No Budget

by Mack Collier

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Last night I was thrilled to join Full Sail University for a special Think Like a Rock Star webinar.  It was an amazing turnout, and I wanted to talk about one of the questions that an attendee asked.

Someone wanted to know how you can expand your reach in social media when you have no budget.  The answer is that you reward the behavior you want to encourage.

Years ago when I first started blogging, I had a nice little community reading my blog.  I would only get 50-100 visitors a day (This was 2006) but every post I wrote had comments, sometimes 15-20.  A blogger friend that was writing for a site that at the time got about 10,000 visitors a month (far more than my blog) left a comment saying ‘I just want to know why you get 10 or more comments on every post and I don’t get any’.  I told him ‘because I respond to my comments’.

I didn’t have many readers, but my level of engagement was much higher than blogs with huge readerships.  If you want to build your reach and engagement then start by rewarding the behavior you want to encourage.  If you want to get more comments on your blog, then start by responding to every comment.  Communicate to your readers that if they comment, that you will respond.  This seems like a no-brainer but you wouldn’t believe how many bloggers never respond to comments, then wonder why they get so few.

No matter how ‘small’ your blog or social media presence is, you’ll have some fans.  People that enjoy your content and that follow you because of it.  Cherish these people.  Even if there are only 2 of them, treat them like rock stars.  Because they are.  And these 2 fans will tell their friends to check you out and before you know it you have 5 fans.  Then 10, then 50, then 100.

The two most powerful words in social media are ‘Thank you’.  Whenever you see someone interacting with your content or sharing your content or recommending your content, then thank them, because they just did you a favor.  And since we all like to be appreciated, when you thank them that encourages them to keep sharing and interacting with your content.

Start small, grow big.

Pic via Flickr user aleske

{ 11 comments }

Blaine January 30, 2014 at 9:54 am

Just a simple thank you or response makes all the difference in the world. Nice blog. Thank you for sharing!

Mack Collier January 30, 2014 at 9:56 am

Thank you Blaine!

Amadou M. Sall January 30, 2014 at 11:42 am

Mack, this is one of the best posts I’ve read for quite some time: short and to the point. It’s going to be my inspiration for the New Year. And I wish you a truly awesome 2014 :-)

Mack Collier January 30, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Thank you sir!

Rebecca January 31, 2014 at 12:44 am

I agree with this totally, you must interact and if you’re too busy to make a conversation, just say thank you and that’s it, your readers would know you appreciate their time and think you’re actually a real person blogging. :-) Thanks Mark and good luck to your endeavor!

Kathryn C Lang January 31, 2014 at 11:00 am

Great reminder to build relationships – thanks so much for sharing.

Stephen Anderson February 2, 2014 at 11:39 pm

How we are in small areas of our lives is how we are in big areas. I like getting a response when i comment on a blog and I am as sure as I can be of anything that everybody else does too. I answer every comment on my blog, positive or negative or anywhere in between.

Alex Ivanovs February 3, 2014 at 4:07 am

This is so true, and I sometimes feel so bad about myself when I’ve been doing other stuff, instead of trying to engage back with my readers. Trying to fix it now though, great thoughts Mack!

Steph Furlan February 3, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Really good advice that I’m going to try to remember when I was feel down about my numbers. I have a book blog. Blogging is a hobby. I’m nowhere near some of the other book bloggers out there, but I think it is important to love what you do and cherish the fanbase you have.

Mack Collier February 3, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Start small, grow big ;)

Blog more often & when you get readers & commenters, engage them, that will give them a reason to come back and keep commenting, as well as link to your blog.

Good luck!

Lisa Raymond February 14, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Great advice, Mack, thank you for posting. People want their comments acknowledged, not because they thing they’re right, but they want to know their comments were read. People want to participate; let’s allow them that participation and say “thank you”!

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